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UAE hotels told to focus on CSR not the PR

Industry leaders at Hotelier Middle East’s Great GM Debate said more focus should be given to CSR initiatives.

During the annual event held yesterday (September 24) at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, hoteliers said that with financial goals and pressures on hotels, CSR programmes which do not receive media attention have taken a back seat and should be bolstered for the good of the local communities.

“CSR and being a good corporate citizen of community can become quite lethargic. CSR is important but doesn’t get implemented effectively if you have a lot of pressures and goals on you,” said Insignia founder and managing director Gaurav Sinha, who moderated the discussion.

“CSR in this region is an emerging trend and not yet mature, but it should be one of the pillars of the brand to help the community, as this will be positive,” said Fraser Suites Dubai general manager David Brown. 

Moevenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach general manager Horst Walther-Jones, said that employment strategies can even combine CSR programmes. “We have a programme to employ those from child support funds, same as children in Vietnam on the street – we give them a one year basic training.”

“We need to support the families and support their lives in the long term,” Walther-Jones added. “It’s not about donations – they are forgotten very quickly. It might be nice for the media, but it doesn’t really have value.”

“We have some high-profile PR communications, such as the box appeal, involving radio and press, but there are other events that are more low profile, but for engaging staff,” added Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Media City general manager Francois Galoisy.

“Blood donation is not really material any more for PR, but they are still not collecting enough... I think we have to do acts like this that are not looking for return, but just to help the community,” Galoisy added. 

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